Being hit by a car is the most common way for a pet to break a bone, according to Veterinary Pet Insurance of Brea, Calif., which received more than 5,000 claims for fractures in 2008. About 40 percent of fractures resulted from accidents in which pets were hit by cars.
The second and third most common causes were jumping and falling, respectively, making up collectively another 40 percent of fracture claims. These claims most often involved pets jumping or falling from couches, beds or the laps of their owners.
The remaining 20 percent of fracture claims included those in which pets ran into stationary objects, fought with other pets, got caught in a tight space or were unintentionally struck with moving objects.
Breaks to the humerus, femur, radius, ulna and tibia made up most of the fracture claims in 2008. The most common treatment of these breaks, surgical implantation of an orthopedic plate, had an average submitted claim fee of $1,500.
“Broken bones are painful for pets and costly for pet owners,” said Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Injury prevention includes careful management of a pet’s environment by removing possible threats and eliminating situations that might put a pet at risk.”
“To prevent pet accidents or injuries caused by moving vehicles, pets should be kept on a leash at all times while away from home,” McConnell added. “If a pet has a tendency to bolt out the door and into the street, the pet should be desensitized to open doors or restricted to a safe area by a fence or baby gate.”
Top 10 ways pets break bones according to Veterinary Pet Insurance:
- Hit by car
- Fight with other pet or animal
- Running and slipped
- Hit or struck with object
- Caught in or between object
- Running into object
- Stepped on
- Injured in car accident